(Reuters) – England picked up four late wickets with the second new ball to turn the first test against West Indies in their favour, leaving the hosts reeling at 264 for eight at stumps on the first day in Barbados on Wednesday.
Veteran James Anderson tore through West Indies’ middle order in a devastating late spell, while Ben Stokes chimed in to claim tailender Kemar Roach for a duck with the final ball of the day at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
While England selected two spinners in Mooen Ali and Adil Rashid, it was the tried and tested pace duo of Stokes and Anderson who did the damage.
Stokes collected two scalps with the old ball, before Anderson struck three times with stumps looming.
The veteran first had Roston Chase caught at first slip for 54, before Shane Dowrich (0) spooned a catch to second slip.
Anderson then snaffled all-rounder Jason Holder caught-and-bowled for five as the large contingent of English fans in the crowd finally found their collective voice.
Anderson finished the day with 4-33 off 24 miserly overs, while Stokes had 3-47.
While it was a promising day for the hosts until the final hour, they could pay the price for the inability of any of their top order to convert good starts into really big scores.
Five of their batsmen made at least 40, but none reached 60.
Openers John Campbell (44) and Kraigg Brathwaite (40) both did their jobs, Campbell on debut in quick fire fashion, while Brathwaite was more obdurate in an old-fashioned test stay at the crease.
Shai Hope (57) and Chase (54) managed half-centuries, while Shimron Hetmyer was 56 not out.
Earlier, West Indies captain Holder won the toss and batted.
The hosts recalled top-order batsman Darren Bravo for his first test appearance in more than two years, but he managed only two before being trapped plum lbw by Stokes.
The teams will play three tests in the series.
England have not won the last two tours to the West Indies, with only one series victory in the Caribbean in the past 50 years.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)